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Community Participation and Sustainable Urban ... focused on the SUD, and the role of participation and consensus building among stakeholder in the process of planning to improve consistency

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  • Community Participation and Sustainable Urban Development;

    Application of City Development Strategy Approach

    Maghsoudi, Rose*; Rasoolimanesh, S. Mostafa**

    *Ph.D. in Urban Planning, & Researcher at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CA,

    [email protected] ** Ph.D. Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality, Tourism, &

    Events, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, Taylor's University, Malaysia


    This paper attempts to investigate to what extent the level of community participation in

    the process of planning of City Development Strategy (CDS) contributes to achieve (Sustainable

    Urban Development (SUD) pillars. CDS is a strategic urban plan, which has been applied by many

    cities in developing countries to achieve SUD. However, the level of achievements to SUD are

    different. To address this objective, the current study has compared two CDSs, which have been

    implemented in Qazvin city in Iran, in regard with taking into account the community participation

    and sustainable urban development (SUP) pillars and assess the effect of community participation

    to achieve SUD.


    City Development Strategy (CDS) is a participatory and strategic urban planning approach

    that has been applied by many cities around the world to achieve sustainable urban development

    (SUD) (Rasoolimanesh et al., 2014). However, the success of CDSs in achievement of SUD goals

    are different, and are heavily dependent on the level of effective participation and building the

    consensus among stakeholders (Conroy, 2006; Rasoolimanesh et al., 2014, 2015; Yigitcanlar &

    Teriman, 2014).

    mailto:[email protected]

  • SUD attempts to improve quality of life of citizens and was established to respond to 21st

    century challenges which cities are facing on, such as; rapid population growth, urban poverty,

    and social-spatial changes, in particular in developing world (Yigitcanlar & Teriman, 2014). The

    cities in developing countries to achieve sustainability need to improve economic structure and

    reduce poverty without damaging the environment and natural capital and inclusion of various

    social groups human inhabitants, especially poor people (Sachs, 2015). SUD is a dynamic process

    to contribute the cities in globalization era to address economic, social, and environmental

    concerns (Shen et al., 2011). The balance between these aspects of SUD can be achieved by

    applying effective participation of all levels of government, private sector and civil society (Saha

    & Paterson, 2008; Sachs, 2015).

    Therefore, this paper attempts to review two applied CDSs in Qazvin city, Iran, to compare

    the role of effective community participation to achieve SUD. The first CDS of Qazvin was

    prepared by the Imam Khomeini International University (or Qazvin University) and the Qazvin’s

    municipality in 2006. However, a second CDS under the Urban Upgrading and Housing Reform

    Program (UUHRP) task force co-jointed by the World Bank and the Ministry of Housing and

    Urban Development (MHUD) of Iran was applied in 2007.

    Research Method

    A qualitative approach has been applied to address the research objective. This study

    focused on the SUD, and the role of participation and consensus building among stakeholder in

    the process of planning to improve consistency of urban plan with SUD principles. Two CDSs of

    Qazvin city which were prepared by local authorities in 2006, and other CDS that it was prepared

    in 2008 by Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) of Iran has been compared in

    two facets; taking into account the principles of SUD, and participation and consensus building of

  • stakeholders in the process of preparing of CDSs. The content and methodology of these two CDSs

    have been analyzed using content analysis technique. The content of these two CDSs have been

    analyzed in related to SUD principles, and the methodology has been analyzed to assess

    participation of stakeholders to prepare these CDSs. The produced reports of these two CDSs have

    been used to perform content analysis and address the research objectives.

    Results and Conclusion

    In this study, we have focused on analyzing the visions, strategies, and projects (action

    plans or outcome of CDS) of the Qazvin City Development Strategies (CDS) plans in 2006 and

    2008, respectively.

    The results of analyzing city development strategies plan of the city of Qazvin (2006) have

    shown, the city has several problems such as high population, lack of social services, poverty and

    slum dwellings, urban mismanagement, absence of effective infrastructure and transportation, and

    environmental degradation. The plan emphasized in the population growth as a main cause of the

    existing shortcomings. In fact, this plan followed a comprehensive approach and reported sectorial

    studies (social-cultural, urban poverty, urban economy, urban environment and geography, …).

    To address these problem, the following strategies are suggested:

    i) an integrated management, harmony, plan-oriented, capable and citizen-oriented.

    ii) A sustainable, healthy, safe, and happy city.

    iii) An active, capable, knowledge-oriented, and competitive city.

    iv) A historical, identified, beautiful, attractive city for internal and external tourists.

    v) A city for academic, research, and university activities in national and international


  • Furthermore, the results showed the first three most essential characterizes of an ideal city for

    Qazvin would be:

    i) To have an integrated, developmental, effective, professional, advanced, and

    coordinated management with public participations by using all urban potentials and

    capacities in the city.

    ii) To create an industrial and transit center to show strong growth in the coming.

    iii) To create a national or international academic city through a university technology

    center, including citizens with rich culture and higher welfare.

    Moreover, according to these essential characteristics, Qazvin main missions were described:

    1. Changing the distributed existing city management to the integrated, transparent, efficient

    and developmental city management along with using the advanced technologies in the

    city management and local government transparency contexts.

    2. Moving toward an increase in the potentialities, capacities, and internal and external

    investments of the City of Qazvin in order to develop public welfare and city growth.

    3. Improving the city of Qazvin position among the first 10 cities of the province, as well as

    representing the city at national and international levels.

    4. Developing awareness in a way to understand of the changing passive to active citizens

    who establish civic culture and participate in their local communities in order to improve

    city identity.

    5. Improving the current economic, social, cultural, environmental and physical, aspects of

    the city of Qazvin.

    6. Creating a balanced, unified, understanding, and interactional circumstance in the Qazvin

    urban region, including all towns and rural areas existing in the threshold of the city of

  • Qazvin.

    Based on the finalized vision of the city of Qazvin CDS, primarily, general goals of the plan were:

    i) To create a city with high management.

    ii) To create a sustainable city.

    iii) To create a city with active economic.

    iv) To create a city with self-identity.

    The process developing the visions in the Qazvin strategic planning has been illustrated in the

    following image.

    The results of analyzing city development strategies plan of the city of Qazvin (2008) have shown,

    the city has four objectives (2007, p. 3):

    i) Qazvin’s CDS was defined as the process of depicting a vision for the future, which

    action plans were drawn from. The focus of Qazvin’s CDS was on five core points:

    strengthening its economic competitiveness; poverty reduction; city environment

    12 primiarly visions

    Upper and lower plans

    Evaluatoin and re-




    Global experinces

    Interview with people, officals and academics

  • (including reduced exposure to natural hazards); infrastructure development; master

    (comprehensive) planning; and financial sustainability;

    ii) The CDS applied a broad range of stakeholders’ participation from all sections of the

    city. The product of the CDS was a development strategy, designed to evolve as

    implementation proceeds and as the city’s competitive position changes.

    iii) The CDS was incorporated in the master (comprehensive) plan. It was expected that

    the CDS contributes to the economic and social development and enhance the city

    competitiveness. It created a sustainable mechanism for stakeholders’ consultation and

    public input in the decision- making processes.

    iv) Evaluation of earlier CDSs showed that the economic analysis, which underlines the

    basis for a realistic vis

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